9 Absolute Must Haves to Make Sure Your Website Rocks!

When clients are browsing the web for information they want to find what they need as quickly as possible. In business, time is money and the more time a perspective customer spends on your site the more money they are likely to spend. There are ways to ensure your website is optimized by improving its usability or creating a visual presence that really pops. Remember, connecting and engaging is the name of the game. While a poorly designed website could leave you and your business lagging, a top-tier website can give you a competitive edge before you’re even out of the gate.

1. Clear Pathways/Navigation
Pathways ensure that your visitors know who you are. They provide a roadmap for them to identify what to click and where to swipe to find what they are looking for with ease. Remember, your website should be a resource for your visitors so build it with your customer in mind and give them an easy experience each and every time they log on.

2. Great Content – Updated Regularly
Marketers everywhere are calling 2015 The Year of Content. Make sure your company capitalizes on every visit by creating and maintaining a blog. A blog keeps you connected to your community and keeps your users connected to your company. And when updated regularly, a great blog serves to educate, delight and enlighten the lives of your viewers. Who doesn’t love that? Engage more people and add more value to your target audience by blogging on your site. Additionally, there are tremendous SEO implications related to your site’s content.

3. Analytics
Once your site is up and running tracking is a must. You need to know who’s visiting your website and what pages are the most popular. There are several ways to add a thorough tracking system to your site. Make sure you take the time to investigate which one is best for you. The most user friendly and cost efficient, however, is Google Analytics (and it’s free).

4. Responsive Web Design
57% of your website’s visitors are using multi-platform devices to search and view your website. Simply stated, they are using their smartphone or tablet just as much, if not more, than a traditional laptop or desktop. Responsive web design means a website automatically responds to the device it is being viewed on by adapting to the size and capabilities of the device. For example, on a phone, users would see content shown in a single column view; a tablet might show the same content in two columns. Responsive web design helps ensure that your content is being viewed in the best possible way.

5. Newsletter Sign-Up
A website that has plenty of traffic doesn’t always get plenty of business. One way, to ensure that anyone just passing through comes back for another look, is by offering them a way to stay in touch. Remember the content from above? Offer visitors to your site the ability to stay connected to your company and content by signing up for updates via newsletter. This is another win-win scenario. There are a multitude of low cost newsletter services to choose from but if you are skittish or just starting out why not try a free one? A newsletter, or updates to your blog will keep clients connected and make prospects aware of developments and promotions.

6. Social Media Share Button
With the ubiquity of social media, your website might be missing out on the opportunity for free publicity – make sure to include an easy way for your content to be shared with others.There are literally tons of services that provide the free code you need to instantly add a share button to your website and allow your visitors to share your content with friends – assuming your content is worth sharing, of course. Some links to generate your own share buttons are: AddThis or TwitThis.

7. Visuals
Are your visuals captivating? Do they help convey your brand’s personality? Do your colors, fonts and photography help you connect with your community? Forget the bland stock photos available everywhere. Invest in quality graphics and photos that help you effectively define your brand.

8. Video
Integrating video content to your site is a powerful and highly effective way to reach and engage with your users. Video allows viewers to connect with your brand faster, and easily adapts to a variety of platforms. People love to access the web through their mobile devices and video lends itself exceptionally well. Integrating video is also easier and more affordable than it’s ever been.

9. Testimonials:
Last but not least, today’s version of word of mouth is on-line testimonials. You have happy customers right? Include their testimonials on your website or weave them into your newsletters. Testimonials are a cost-effective and easy way of making sure visitors to your site know that you are reputable and trustworthy.

Following these 9 simple tips will ensure your site delivers the goods. And by goods, we mean quality visitors that turn into customers. If you aren’t getting the traffic or sales you think you deserve take a moment to make sure you aren’t missing anything. You may be surprised and the difference may be just a click away.

For more information on ways to boost traffic on your business site or just want updates on the latest trends in business, make sure and check out the latest issue of South Florida Business and Wealth.

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